From hotels and hostels to AirBnBs and self-catering holiday homes – there are a lot of options when it comes to accommodation for your Scotland trip. But by far my favourite places to stay in Scotland are traditional B&Bs and guest houses. Not sure why? Let me bust some myths – read on to find out why I think you should stay at a bed and breakfast or guest house when you travel around Scotland!
This post is sponsored by Be Our Guest Scotland. It is based on my personal experiences, though, and all opinions are my own.
This post contains affiliate links from which I may make a commission. Find out more here. All opinions are my own.
Have you ever stayed at a Scottish bed & breakfast or guest house?
If your answer is “yes”, you probably already know what makes B&Bs and guest houses such special places to stay.
But if your answer is “no”, there might be certain things that hold you back…
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Common myths about staying at B&Bs + guest houses
There are a lot of misconceptions about bed and breakfasts and guest houses. You know, that they’re old-fashioned and small, you don’t get much privacy or are forced to chat with strangers, and vegan breakfast is basically just toast…
But you know what: those myths couldn’t be further from the truth!
If you are on the fence about staying in a Scottish B&B or guest house, this article is for you.
Especially if you’re a bit like me: a millennial (or thereabouts), conscious of your travel budget (or simply wise about spending), with a dietary requirement (maybe even vegan) and into unique travel experiences (no frilly curtains please).
Personally, B&Bs and guest houses are my number 1 choice for accommodation in Scotland, especially when I travel on my own, but also if I want to treat myself and my partner, friend or family to a special stay. It’s also what I recommend to all my itinerary planning clients who visit from near and far.
Let’s debunk some myths and find out why I love staying at Scottish B&Bs and guest houses.
About Be Our Guest
But first, let’s hear a bit about Be Our Guest, a new campaign by the Scottish Guest House and B&B Alliance that highlights the diverse range of B&Bs and guest houses across Scotland – and the stories of their hosts.
Each B&B and guest house is special – they are small independent businesses and each host has their own unique story to tell. Be Our Guest will share some of these stories to introduce you to the people behind the accommodation.
Because at a B&B or guest house you’ll never feel like you’ve entered some sterile and anonymous place to stay – you’ll always feel the warm, personal welcome of Scottish hospitality. But don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you’ll be showered with unwanted attention – you still get all the privacy you want. We’ll get to that a bit further below!
Over the next few months, Be Our Guest will share host stories across its channels. If you are overwhelmed with choosing where to go in Scotland, maybe finding a host whose story resonates with you can help you make that decision! You can find all stories here.
You might also like: 23 unique places to stay in Scotland
7 Reasons for staying in a Bed & Breakfast or Guest House
But of course I’ve stayed at many B&Bs and guest houses over the years which gives me countless experiences and memories to draw upon when I say “B&B is best”! Here is why…
Wonder how to find the best B&Bs and guest houses in Scotland? Consider booking an itinerary review session with me and I’ll help you find great accommodation for your trip.
You’ll get a warm welcome
Staying in a B&B or guest house is a very personal experience. Some hosts make you feel like you’re visiting friends, others treat you like you’re royalty. The best B&Bs do a mix of both and spoil you rotten!
Most travellers I speak to want to connect with locals on their trip. And if you ask me, hospitality is one of Scotland’s strengths – few folks are as friendly and welcoming as the Scots! If you stay at a bed and breakfast, you’ll get all that and more.
That said, B&Bs and guest houses still give you ultimate privacy during your stay.
Every host does things differently – some are right there to check you in and welcome you into their homes, others have more separate arrangements and only interact with you if you ask for it. I’ve even stayed at B&Bs with self-check-in!
Regardless of the hosts’ approach, one thing that is true for every B&B or guest house I’ve ever stayed in, is that you get the space and privacy you want & need. No one is going to force you to chat endlessly or engage with strangers during meals. It’s all up to you!
You have access to local knowledge and connections
Have you ever paid extra for concierge services at a hotel? Well, a B&B host does all that and more – no need to pay extra!
From booking restaurants and making sure you get the best table in the house, to suggesting fun things to do & see in the area – your host will do what they can to help you make the most of your time.
Scottish B&B and guest house hosts are knowledgeable and passionate about showing you the best of their area – and all the hidden gems. And they have connections to other businesses nearby to arrange unique experiences you might have never discovered on your own.
You might even get a tour on site
Some B&Bs and guest houses even offer their very own experiences on location or very nearby. From bike hire and guided tours – hosts can be excellent tour guides!
On my trip to Newton Farm Holidays, I joined several experiences meeting the animals of the farm – like brushing Highland cows and walking with alpacas.
At Parkhead House, host James took me on a private tour to Outlander film locations like Hopetoun House and Midhope Castle aka. Lallybroch. I even got an exclusive peek inside the house even though it was closed for the winter!
There’s nothing quite like a tour with a local guide!
You’ll get amazing breakfast
Can we just focus on the food for a moment? Breakfast is one of my favourite perks when I stay at a bed and breakfast.
Nothing beats a proper Scottish breakfast. Often you’ll get two courses to set you up for a day of exploring, plus some continental goodies. Realistically you won’t even need lunch.
Dietary requirements are usually no problem – although some hosts are definitely more adventurous in the kitchen than others. I always call ahead to let my hosts know that I’m vegan and most are keen to discuss options for what I’d like or which plant milk I prefer. The good thing is that many Scottish breakfast staples are easily veganised – from porridge to vegan sausages.
In 2021 alone, I’ve had vegan pancakes, chia pudding with berries, an assortment of vegan meats, homemade vegan haggis and even banana ice cream on my breakfast plate.
You might also like: Reviewing my stay at Kingsreach Vegan B&B
You’ll enjoy all the amenities
Because B&Bs and guest houses are small businesses themselves, hosts often partner with other local businesses to supply top-quality amenities for their guests. From toiletries to welcome sweeties, I found that B&Bs often source these things locally.
On top of that, your B&B room usually has a coffee & tea station and you often get access to a guest fridge to store essentials. I’ve even stayed at B&Bs with full-on guest kitchens. Many B&Bs have drying rooms (it’s Scotland after all) and even the option to do laundry during your stay – at no or much lower cost than hotels.
Plus you don’t have to do your own dishes – always a plus!
Not every B&B and guest house has the same amenities on offer, but if a certain perk is important to you, I guarantee that you can find a suitable place to stay.
You get a lot of bang for your buck
Even the most affordable B&B or guest house usually includes all of the above: a welcoming host who is happy to give tips or help make reservations, all the amenities for a comfortable stay and a brilliant breakfast.
I’ve often booked B&Bs because they were the most cost-effective option. Many actually have reduced single occupancy rates.
And if I splurge a little and book a special B&B or guest house, I know I’ll get my money’s worth!
You might also like: 50 Money-Saving Tips for your Trip to Scotland
There is a B&B or guest house for everyone
I really believe that anyone can stay at a B&B or guest house and get what they need – a comfortable space or cooking facilities, a feeling of connection or privacy, a no-frills option suited for a low budget or 5-star rated luxury accommodation at a higher rate.
No matter what you look for in your accommodation, I bet a stay at a bed and breakfast can live up to your expectations!
My recent stays at Newton Farm Holidays and Parkhead House have confirmed all of these reasons why I love booking a stay at a bed and breakfast – and I can’t wait for my next trip!
How about you – have you learnt something new or unexpected about B&B accommodation from my posts? Will you choose a B&B or guest house for your next trip to Scotland?
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